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All in all, we really enjoyed it, but Princess would do well to take a few statistics classes. When we checked in at Southampton, woo, hoo, we’re platinum, you know. This is our eighth Princess Cruise (and could be our last if the keep playing those godawful reworded 70s Love Boat theme-song safety messages - thank GOD they stopped after the first day) so roll on the bennies! Let’s skid sideways through the special quickie check in lanes and get this party started!! The line for elite/suite/platinum/not-sure-what-else looked like Disneyworld suddenly decided to throw a half price sale. The Princess person guiding people in apologetically said they had a rush of elite guests. Um...maybe. Or the boat is loaded with them. I’m no idjit. Where’s the steerage lanes? Waaaay down ther...I waddled with increasing speed towards the line that could’ve had tumbleweeds blowing through it. Then I started doing my “come hither” dance at my other half. It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done. Splaying limbs, expressions of a Maori warrior communicating half the British armed forces are bivouacked over yonder hill, I’m certain I’m adorable in all my middle aged glory. So my beloved and a few other canny people moved to the unimportant people line, which ended in the same place. I figured, even if they sent ten premiums through for every one pauper, hell, we’d still be in our stateroom hours ahead. We joined the remarkably short queue of commoners. As did several people from the premium lanes when they heard what we were doing - and those bods were halfway through the line already. Ducking under the rope that separated their highnesses from the likes of us, they now had mere feet to get to the head of the line rather than wrapping around like the Haunted Mansion awaited them. The young woman in the Princess uniform at the front was trying to send more premiums than commoners through, but as we inched forward, the guy behind us cried, “We’re platinums!” I couldn’t help myself, I could see this young lady pulling him from the line ahead of us and hell, it was my idea in the first place, I was the Moses who lead this line of premiums into the General Area. Which, as I write that, sounds really snotty. Yes, we did jump the premium line, but honestly, it was set up in such a way that anyone could. You just had to think about it. So I snorted and said “so are we!” Well, that rattled her some...elite passengers from all directions, so she didn’t stop to think we’d walked through the almost empty third-class lane. “Oh, of course. Please, step this way,” much, I’m sure, to the annoyance of the next up in the elite lane. This, in turn, got us earlier tickets to get through the security checkpoint. I kinda feel bad but really, it was there for anyone to do. Next comment: The other thing Princess would do well to change about this cruise is the ice cream. Last cruise, the ice cream bar by the pool had sugar free which they happily dispensed at no charge along with the sugary soft serve 12 hours a day. I skip dessert at night...no hardship, sugar free mango cheesecake didn’t sound appealing, but a bowl of ice cream sure did. I’m thankfully not diabetic but after my bariatric surgery I find I can only tolerate small amounts of sugar. So we get poolside, only to be informed if I’d like sugar free, they’d be happy to help me at the gelato bar** on deck five. Okay. Couple issues with this. 1. The Royal Princess is one of the largest ships in Princess’ fleet. And Princess doesn’t really redesign their ships, they more accordion them - they stuff extra decks in. I try to limit my elevator usage to one per day. The pool is on 16. Gelato is on 5. Bed is on 11... 2. The gelato bar** is always followed by asterisks. Just like the Crown Grill**, Sabatini’s Italian Resturante**and the snooty tooty Lotus Spa**. Yep. You guessed it. “May I have your cruise card for a moment, please?” Cha-CHING! Smarmy smile, as that automatically incurred a 17.5% tip on toppa the cost. Thank you, madame. We can afford the charge, of course, it’s the idea of the thing. But I’m especially cheesed off for the child diabetics on these cruises who can’t just sneak an ice cream like any other kid can. Instead, they have to choose to either mess with their blood sugar or have their folio rat them out - they can’t even pay cash outta their allowance. What fun is that? So for my sugar intolerance, I get an extra $50 charge (yes, fifty bucks. Don’t judge me. I don’t judge YOUR dessert consumption and two scoops are nearly $3 each. Over 15 days, that’s what? One a day? Like YOU have ONE dessert a day? Please.) This will get too long if I add everything that happened, so if you’re a glutton for punishment, I kept a semi-regular log at examiningmisadventures.com.

The Northern Atlantic became the mid-Atlantic halfway through...

Royal Princess Cruise Review by Traveling Examiner

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
All in all, we really enjoyed it, but Princess would do well to take a few statistics classes.

When we checked in at Southampton, woo, hoo, we’re platinum, you know. This is our eighth Princess Cruise (and could be our last if the keep playing those godawful reworded 70s Love Boat theme-song safety messages - thank GOD they stopped after the first day) so roll on the bennies!

Let’s skid sideways through the special quickie check in lanes and get this party started!!

The line for elite/suite/platinum/not-sure-what-else looked like Disneyworld suddenly decided to throw a half price sale.

The Princess person guiding people in apologetically said they had a rush of elite guests. Um...maybe. Or the boat is loaded with them.

I’m no idjit. Where’s the steerage lanes?

Waaaay down ther...I waddled with increasing speed towards the line that could’ve had tumbleweeds blowing through it. Then I started doing my “come hither” dance at my other half. It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done. Splaying limbs, expressions of a Maori warrior communicating half the British armed forces are bivouacked over yonder hill, I’m certain I’m adorable in all my middle aged glory.

So my beloved and a few other canny people moved to the unimportant people line, which ended in the same place. I figured, even if they sent ten premiums through for every one pauper, hell, we’d still be in our stateroom hours ahead. We joined the remarkably short queue of commoners.

As did several people from the premium lanes when they heard what we were doing - and those bods were halfway through the line already. Ducking under the rope that separated their highnesses from the likes of us, they now had mere feet to get to the head of the line rather than wrapping around like the Haunted Mansion awaited them.

The young woman in the Princess uniform at the front was trying to send more premiums than commoners through, but as we inched forward, the guy behind us cried, “We’re platinums!”

I couldn’t help myself, I could see this young lady pulling him from the line ahead of us and hell, it was my idea in the first place, I was the Moses who lead this line of premiums into the General Area.

Which, as I write that, sounds really snotty. Yes, we did jump the premium line, but honestly, it was set up in such a way that anyone could. You just had to think about it.

So I snorted and said “so are we!”

Well, that rattled her some...elite passengers from all directions, so she didn’t stop to think we’d walked through the almost empty third-class lane. “Oh, of course. Please, step this way,” much, I’m sure, to the annoyance of the next up in the elite lane.

This, in turn, got us earlier tickets to get through the security checkpoint. I kinda feel bad but really, it was there for anyone to do.

Next comment: The other thing Princess would do well to change about this cruise is the ice cream. Last cruise, the ice cream bar by the pool had sugar free which they happily dispensed at no charge along with the sugary soft serve 12 hours a day.

I skip dessert at night...no hardship, sugar free mango cheesecake didn’t sound appealing, but a bowl of ice cream sure did. I’m thankfully not diabetic but after my bariatric surgery I find I can only tolerate small amounts of sugar.

So we get poolside, only to be informed if I’d like sugar free, they’d be happy to help me at the gelato bar** on deck five.

Okay. Couple issues with this.

1. The Royal Princess is one of the largest ships in Princess’ fleet. And Princess doesn’t really redesign their ships, they more accordion them - they stuff extra decks in. I try to limit my elevator usage to one per day. The pool is on 16. Gelato is on 5. Bed is on 11...

2. The gelato bar** is always followed by asterisks. Just like the Crown Grill**, Sabatini’s Italian Resturante**and the snooty tooty Lotus Spa**. Yep. You guessed it. “May I have your cruise card for a moment, please?” Cha-CHING! Smarmy smile, as that automatically incurred a 17.5% tip on toppa the cost. Thank you, madame.

We can afford the charge, of course, it’s the idea of the thing.

But I’m especially cheesed off for the child diabetics on these cruises who can’t just sneak an ice cream like any other kid can. Instead, they have to choose to either mess with their blood sugar or have their folio rat them out - they can’t even pay cash outta their allowance. What fun is that?

So for my sugar intolerance, I get an extra $50 charge (yes, fifty bucks. Don’t judge me. I don’t judge YOUR dessert consumption and two scoops are nearly $3 each. Over 15 days, that’s what? One a day? Like YOU have ONE dessert a day?

Please.)

This will get too long if I add everything that happened, so if you’re a glutton for punishment, I kept a semi-regular log at examiningmisadventures.com.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD D619
Balcony deluxe. Niiiiice roomy shower but the soap, as usual, kept taking headers off the ledge and I hate having to hold the damn thing all the time.

Having a sofa is also nice but it slanted oddly so that you were constantly sliding off it. No upper storage in the room (over the desk - the TV is wall mounted flush across from the bed) which made it feel larger but hard to watch TV from the sofa.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Rotterdam
    Sounds like the Dutch are pissed off.

    I couldn’t figure out why, for our first stop the morning after we got on this ship, we didn’t arrive into Rotterdam until noon. Southampton to The Netherlands is a rollicking 250 odd miles... cross the English Channel, hang a left, boom! You’re there.

    But...we’re on a boat full of 3,500 jet lagged Americans. At the here’s-how-you-put-a-velcro’ed-life-jacket-on demo, they asked people to cheer for their home country. Oh, hell, yes, buncha Yanks. And all of them dragging their tail feathers from the red eye to get here.

    So finally, the noon arrival made sense. Why make our Colonial Cousins cranky by getting into port early and depriving them of primo jet lag shuteye time?

    Let’s wander around the North Sea for the morning, entice them into snoozing in (“after all, honey, there’s no reason to get up early...”) and they’ll wake up happy and ready to take the overpriced tours and spend them greenbacks!

    Enter the Dutch. As I recall, there’s a certain politician who hasn’t been particularly neighborly to anyone lately. Tariffs, insults, general unpleasantness.

    The Scandinavians are nothing if not unfailingly polite. They’re Canadians in Viking hats. Just...do not piss them off.

    I think...but this is supposition, mind...they’re a little annoyed.

    For the first time (ever), for clearance into the Schengen Area (those European countries with reciprocal visa agreements), we gotta have our passports peered at. Soooo...starting at 7am, everyone outta bed, let’s have a lookit theese pahspohrts, shall wee?

    Wilkohmen au The Netherlands!

    As we pulled into the shipping lanes (Rotterdam is one of the biggest ports in the world) we saw Dutch windmills!

    Wait. Aren’t they supposed to be wood and cute? These are kinda ugly and look like the ones near Tehachapi, California. Giant metal monsters.

    So the other nice thing is the Rotterdam port authority arranged for free busses to run almost the entire time the ship was in port from the ship to the city center, to the marketplace then back to the ship. Yaaay we didn’t pay for a tour at this port...we got to see what we wanted for a €2 tip each way. Life is good. We had lunch at a little bistro with free WiFi - all in all, one modest cost day, aside from Sheri’s Donutella shake.

    Mini donuts blendered into ice cream and Nutella. It was too much for me.

    The next day a sea day, so sleeping in and bingo and no stress.
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